Are You Just Chasing A Hobby or Is It Really Your Passion?

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Photo by Felpa_boy (Creative Commons)

It’s easy to get confused when deciding if something is a hobby or a passion.

Fear, doubts, excitement, and distraction take hold in our mind—then get jumbled together.

Make no mistake, this will require some soul searching and it is usually not a quick process with a specific timetable. 

But you can do it!

How? Let’s dig deeper.

A hobby often has the following characteristics:

  1. Something you stop doing altogether. For me, an example of this was collecting baseball cards and sports memorabilia. I could pick it up again at any time, but for now this is definitely not a passion.
  2. It’s easy. It isn’t very challenging or draining. You have no real expectations or goals for this either. There is no way to fail.
  3. Not scary at all. There wasn’t much fear involved, it’s rather just something you do and you don’t have anyone pushing against you.
  4. You keep quiet about it. Sure you might talk about it with others who are into the same hobby, but for the most part, it’s not something that will dominate conversation.

Hobbies are very important. You need hobbies to round out your life and to keep yourself balanced.

But what about a passion?

A passion will often include the following:

  1. It is something you can’t stop doing. You’ve started and stopped, but you come back to it and always start again.
  2. The work is hard but very rewarding. The work probably even scares you and overwhelms you. That’s alright. Those are signs the work is big and you are stretching yourself when you do it.
  3. Keeps you up in the middle of the night. When you can’t sleep, it’s because you are thinking about this or working on it.
  4. You can’t stop talking about it or reading about it. You simply can’t get enough of it. And you’ve been this way for extended period of time.

But what if the line is not clear between the two?

Here are some things to consider:

If you start and stop something several times, it is likely a passion.

When you make money doing it, that can distort things as well. How would you feel about the work if you weren’t making a penny doing it?

A hobby can become a passion and vice-versa. Nothing is set in stone. Life is seasonal and don’t be too quick to put a label on something. Set aside time to reflect and to gauge where you are in life.

For example, a few years ago I repaired and sold guitars in my spare time. I was making some money doing it and honestly, that distorted things for me. It was fun, but I knew in my heart that it was not as fulfilling to me as pursuing other writing. The guitar is a hobby for me—it is not a passion. That’s not to say it won’t become my passion a year from now.

If you’re not sure, just take some time to experiment, and don’t even feel the need to put a label on it.  

If you have any questions please feel free to ask me in the comments or fire me an email. Do you know what your passion is? What about your hobbies? If not, what are you experimenting with?

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